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Патент USA US3078958

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Feb. 26, 1963-
-
>
s. M. FREY
3,078,945
VEl-IICULAR MOVABLE'STEERING COLUMN
Filed' May 27, 1960
I
5 Sheets-Sheet 1
STUART M. FREY
INVENTOR.
BY
6?)
/Q./6¢%./
ATTORNEYS
Feb. 26, 1963
s. M. FREY
3,078,945
VEHICULAR MOVABLE STEERING COLUMN
Filed May 27, 1960
5 Sheets-Sheet 2
STUART M. FREY
INVENTOR.
BY
6. W
ATTORNEYS
Feb. 26, ‘1963
s. M. FREY
,
3,078,945
VEHICULAR MOVABLE STEERING COLUMN
Filed May 27, 1960
5 Sheets-Sheet 3
5‘“FIG.
FIG.4
39
STUART M. FREY
IN VENTOR.
NATTORNEYS
Feb. 26, 1963
s. M. FREY
3,078,945
VEHICULAR MOVABLE STEERING COLUMN
Filed May 27, 1960
5 Sheets-Sheet 4
A
2540 $204
2540 2 .50“18.56
20_msZ<E.ZOE-50m1.52
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D 29. 210.526
L_ _ r
STUART M. FREY
INVENTOR.
BY
a
X
I
Feb. 26, 1963
3,078,945
s. M. FREY
VEHICULAR MOVABLE STEERING COLUMN
Filed May 27, 1960
5 Sheets-Sheet 5
FIG. 8
STUART M. FREY
INVENTOR.
BY
ATTORNEYS
6,
1C6
E?lh?tig
Patented Feb. 26, 1953
2
the vehicle transmission control and the steering column
3,078,945
VEHICULAR MOVABLE STEEERRNG COLUMN
supporting assembly,‘ the’ mechanical interlock being
eitective to prevent operation'of the‘ transmission selector
tuart M. Frey, Detroit, Mich, assignor to Ford Motor
when the steering wheel is displaced from its normal
Company, Dear-horn, Mich, a corporation'iof Dela 5 lever
operating position; and
ware
FIG. 8 is a view taken substantially through the line
8-8 of FIG. 7 looking in the direction of the arrows.
Referring now to the drawings and more particularly
This invention relates generally to motor vehicle
to FIGS. 1 and‘ 2, there is illustrated the general orien
steering mechanism in which the steering wheel is sup 10 tation of a steering wheel 11 and its supporting column
ported on a movable steering column.~
‘
"
12 to other parts of a vehicle. In FIG. 1, the steering
US. Patent No. 743,013, issued in November 1-903,
wheel llis shown in solid outline in a normal operative
listed several advantages to be derived from a movable
position. The axis of rotation of the steering wheel 11
steering column which could be swung about to various
lies in a vertical plane substantially normal to the plane
positions.‘ Such an arrangement was said to enable “the 15 of the instrument panel 13. In dot and dash outline
steersman to enter and leave his seat conveniently and
the steering wheel 11 is shown in a displaced position
’
Filed May 27, 1960, Ser. No. 32,221
" 14 Claims. (Cl. 18il--82)
also to afford an opportunity for a person seated at one
side of the steersman’s seat or even standing out in the
from its normal. operative position. As viewed in P16.
road, as is sometimes done in climbing a steep hill to
decrease weight, to steer the vehicle.” Although it is
now generally illegal for anyone other than the person
seated in'the “steersrnan seat” to steer the vehicle and
it is seldom necessary for the passengers of the vehicle
to disembark in order for the vehicle to travel up a steep
hill, the modern motor vehicle often leaves much to be
desired with regard to the ease and convenience with
which the driver may take or leave his position behind
relatively flat angle that the steering column 12 support
ing the steering wheel 11 makes with the horizontal
plane of the vehicle. FIG. 2 also illustrates the general
orientation of the steering column 12 and other parts of
the steering gear mechanism‘ with ‘the forward wall 14
of the passenger compartment, that is, the ?re wall di
viding the passenger compartment from the engine com~
1, the direction of displacement is to the right or toward
the center of the vehicle body. FIG. 2- illustrates the
partment. Also illustrated in solid outline is a portion
of the floor board 15, the accelerator pedal 16, the brake
pedal 17 which is illustrated as being a hanging member
0 pivotally mounted at its'upper end beneath the vehicle
cowl 13, ‘and in ‘dot and dash outline a part of the trans
mission housing 19 and the gear shift mechanism selector
lever 21. ‘It will be understood that the foregoing brief
the steering wheel. In many modern vehicles, partic
ularly in the so-called sports-car type, the steering wheel
column extends substantially parallel to the horizontal
plane of the vehicle. ' Also the trend in seating is toward
softer and deeper seats, particularly toward'the so-called
bucket seat. As a result, a certain degree of contortionis
tic effort is often-times required for the driver to get into
discussion is only for the purpose of setting up an exem
and out of the driver’s seat'beneath the low overhang of 35 plary environment in which the present invention is
the steering wheel.
adapted to be used.
‘
' It is an object of the present invention to provide an
improved mechanical structure for supporting the steer
ing wheel column so that the steering wheel may be
swung from its normal operative position into a displaced it: 0
position, thus providing easier ingress and egress to the
driver’s seat of the vehicle. It is another object to pro
vide the necessary safety devices for locking the steering
column in its normal operative position and for prevent
ing operation of the vehicle when the steering column
is unlocked and shifted to a displaced position.
'
'
Other objects, advantages and features of construction
embodying the present invention will be made more‘ ap
parent as the description proceeds, particularly when
‘considered in connection with the accompanying draw
ings, wherein:
' The steering shaft 27 is provided with a universal joint
28 immediately below the pivot‘ shaft 22. The lower end
of the shaft 27 is operatively coupled to the conventional
steering mechanism housed within steering gear hous
vehicle;
‘FIG.v 2 is a side elevational view in part sectional of
ingv 29.
the steering column embodying the present invention;
senger compartment. Reference may be made to prior
art patents, such as US. Patents 2,753,848 and 2,865,222,
'
FIG. 4 is a plan view of FIG. 3;
FIG. 5 is a sectional view taken substantially through
the line 5--5 of FIG. 4 looking in the direction of th
'
'
FIG. 6 is a diagrammatic view of a preferred form
of electrical circuitry which may be used to provide the
which'illustrate equivalent'structures for supporting the
lower end ‘of 'a steering column and the steering shaft en‘
65
necessary safety features relating the control and oper
ation of the vehicle to the position of the steering wheel;
FIG. 7 is a view in part similar to FIG. 4 illustrating
a second embodiment of the'pr'esent invention and more
particularly theuse'of a mechanical interlock between
'
The foregoing is only a brief description of the struc
ture located forward'of the forward ‘wall 14' of the pas
FIG. 3 is an enlarged view. of the portion of FIG. v2
arrows;
or sleeves’ 23'and 24 on the forward ends of upper and
lower support brackets 25 and 26, respectively. The
upper support bracket 25 is mounted in any convenient
The pivot axis
de?ned by the pivot shaft 22; lies in a vertical longitudinal
plane and, as seen in FIG. 2, is also substantially normal
to the longitudinal axis of the steering column 12.
and dash outline the position of the steering wheel when
it has been laterally displaced toward the‘ center of the
'
bearing devices (not shown)‘ carried in bearing housings
0 the lower end‘of the ‘steering column 12.
'
'
about a pivot axis located ahead or on the ‘engine com
partment side or" the forward wall 14 of the passenger
compartment. The pivotal support for the steering col
umn comprises a pivot shaft 22 journalled in suitable
manner on the engine compartment side of the wall 14.
The lower bracket 26 is mounted on or actually carries
FIG. 1 is a fragmentary view illustrating in solid out
line the normal position of the steering wheel and 'in dot
within the circle 3;
Referring now to FIG 2, the steering column 12 is il
lustrated as being supported for swinging movement
closed'thereby for angular or universal adjustment. The
present invention is more particularly concerned with the
mounting and control of the movement of the upper end
of the steering column 12,.
' Brie?y stated, the present invention provides a con
l
lO
struction and arrangement in which movement of the
steering column 12 from its normal position to an inboard
position is controlled and guided by means of a guide
8,078,945
3
track assembly, generally designated 31, supported be
neath the instrument panel 13 and a follower 32 attached
to the steering column and running in the guide track as
sembly.
The extremities of the column travel are con
trolled by suitable stops and detents, as will be more fully
explained. in the embodiment of the invention illustrated
in FIGS. 1 to 6, inclusive, the movement of the steering
meat and adapted to receive the pawl projection 54 only
when the steering column is. in normal driving position.
Provision is made for locking the pawl projection 54
against retraction from the aligned apertures 55 and 56.
As best seen in FIG. 4, the ?ange 35 of the guide track
vmember 33 is provided with a right angle extension 57
at its outboard end, the lower end as viewed in FIG. 4.
The extension 57 extends forwardly and substantially
parallel to the longitudinal axis of the steering column 12.
interlock. As will be more fully explained, this system
precludes starting of the engine unless the steering column 10 An upstanding strap 58 having an overhanging ?ange 59
is welded or otherwise securely fastened to the inner side
is in the driving position. In addition, the system pro
of the extension 57. A bracket 61 provided with at
vides a positive lock mechanism which will prevent move~
column is related to the engine by means of an electrical
tachment ?anges 62 and 63 is secured to the upper surface
of the track member 33 and side wall of the ?ange 35,
Referring now more particularly to FIGS. 3 to 5, inclu 15 respectively. The bracket 61 is provided with a ?ange
64 extending toward the ?ange Sh of the strap 53. The
sive, the guide track assembly 31 comprises a pair of arou
gap between the two ?anges 59 and 64 is spanned by a
ate members 33 and 34 mounted in spaced parallel rela
suitable bridging member 65, which, as seen in FIG. 4,
tionship to each other and lying in planes normal to the
ment of the column from the drive position while the en
gine is running.
is substantially U-s'naped. Depending from the inner side
pivot axis de?ned by the pivot shaft 22. Each member
33 and 34 is provided with a depending right angle ?ange 20 ‘of the base of the U is a channel member 66 having a
short leg portion 67 terminating in spaced relation to
35 and 36, respectively. The ?anges 35 and 36 are posi
the upper surface of the pawl 52. Cradled between the
tioned in abutting relationship to each other. The guide
flanges 59 and 64 is a solenoid 63 having a longitudinally
track assembly 13 is supported on a U-shaped horizon
extending locking bar 69 projecting from one end thereof.
tally extending yoke 37 mounted beneath the instrument
it will be readily apparent from the relationship of
panel 13 but over the steering column 12, the yoke being 25
the parts as shown in FIG. 3 that when the locking bar
secured to the tire wall by suitable ?anges, not shown.
6? is moved away from the solenoid 68, i.e., toward the
The yoke is provided with spaced ?anges 33 to which the
direction of the steering wheel, it will overlie the pawl
guide track member flanges 35 and 36 are securely fas
52 and prevent upward movement of the projection 54
tened by bolts 39.
As was brie?y stated above, the upper end of the steer 30 out of the aligned apertures 55 and 56. The channel
shaped member 66 overlying the locking bar 69 prevents
ing column 12 is slidably supported on the guide track
undue bending stress being exerted on the locking bar
assembly 31 by a follower, generally designated 32. The
follower 32 is more in the nature of a hanger bracket.
It
is provided with a main plate portion 41 having a recess
if any attempt is made to force the steering wheel toward
its inboard position when the locking bar is in pawl or
42 at its lower edge (see FIG. 5) adapted to ?t over the 35 detent blocking position.
steering column 12. The main plate portion is provided
with side ?anges 43 extending longitudinally of the steer
ing column. At its upper end the main plate portion is
provided with a forwardly extending ?ange 44 adapted to
?t between the guide track members 33 and 34. The
flange 44 is preferably covered with a low friction mate
A coil spring 71 yieldably urges the locking pawl
toward its locking direction, the coil spring extending be
tween a portion of the bridging member 65 and the free
end of the locking pawl 52 (see FIG. 5).
Operation of the solenoid 68 controlling the position
of the locking bar 69 is controlled by the means of a
limit switch 72, which may hereinafter be referred to
rial, such as nylon, providing a slide shoe 45. The steer
as the column position switch. As best seen in FIG. 5,
ing column 12 is retained within the recess 42 by means
the limit switch is mounted on a ?ange 73 of the yoke 37.
of a hanger strap 46. The hanger strap 46 is retained to
the side ?anges 43 of the follower bracket 32 by a suitable 45 When the steering column is in its normal operative posi~
tion, the actuating element 74 of the limit switch 72 is
bolt, as indicated at 47, extending between the side ?anges.
depressed to close the electrical circuit to energize the
At the inboard end of the guide track assembly 31, the
column locking solenoid 63 to position the bar over the
upper end as viewed in FIGS. 4 and 5, a spacer block 48
locking pawl. The electrical circuity involved will be
is positioned between the two track members 33 and 34.
more fully explained with reference to FIG. 6.
The spacer block is retained by a suitable nut and bolt
It will be understood that the present invention is par
device 49. The spacer block 48, while maintaining the
ticularly adapted for use in motor vehicles provided with
track members 33 and 34 in proper spaced parallel rela
automatic transmissions. All conventional automatic
tionship at the inboard end, also performs a second func
transmissions are provided with a locking device pre
tion in that it provides a stop limiting inward movement
of the steering column toward the center of the vehicle. 55 venting transmission of power from the engine to the driv
ing wheels whenever the transmission selector lever is
The side edge of the ?ange 44 at the top of the hanger
placed in “P" (park) position.
bracket or follower 32 will abut the spacer block thereby
FIG. 6 illustrates a preferred electrical circuit provid
limiting further inward movement. The normal operat
ing an electrical interlock which relates the position and
ing or outboard position of the steering column is deter
mined by a more elaborate mechanism as will now be 60 movability of the steering column to the operation of
the vehicle. The interlock embodied in the present inven
described.
tion is designed to function in the following manner:
The ?ange 36 of the guide track member 34 is pro
(I) Permits the engine to be started with the trans
vided at its outboard end, the lower end as viewed in
mission selector lever in the “park” position and the
FIGS. 4 and 5, with an offset extension 51. The exten
sion 51 extends upwardly and terminates substantially at 65 column in any position.
(2) Permits the engine to be started with the trans-7
the level of the upper surface of the guide track member
mission selector lever in the “neutral” position, but only
when the steering column is in the normal “driving” posi
to extend longitudinally of the guide track assembly 31.
tion.
(3) Stops the engine when the transmission selector
The pawl or detent '52 is provided with a detent projec 70
is taken out of the “park” position with the column in any
tion 54. As best seen in FIG. 3, the guide track member
position other than the normal driving position.
33 and the hanger bracket ?ange 44 (including the shoe
(4) Locks the steering column into the normal driv~
45 mounted thereon) are provided with apertures 55 and
ing position when the engine is running and the trans
56 adapted to receive the pawl projection 54. It will be
understood that these apertures 55 and 56 are in align 75 mission selector is in any position except “park.”
33. A locking pawl or detent 52 is pivotally mounted,
as by a rivet or pivot stud 53, on the extension 51 so as
ems-r945
5
6
(5) Permits the steering column to be shifted to any
position on its designed arc of travel when the ignition
switch is off or in the accessory only position.
(1) Lock the column in the normal driving position
Assuming the operation cycle begins with the column
when the transmission selector lever is in any position
except “park” to prohibit any accidental shifting of the
column while the vehicle is in motion.
shifted out of driving position and the transmission se
lector lever in “park” position, the driver upon entering
the car may insert the ignition key and start the engine
(2) Permit shifting of the column only when the
transmission selector lever is in “park” position.
(3) Lock the transmission selector lever in “park” po
with the column in or out of driving position. In other
words, the driver may leave the steering column out of
sition to prevent any forward motion of the vehicle when
the column is shifted out of the driving position.
driving position or immediately after seating himself 1.0
In this embodiment, the steering column is designated
within the driver’s seat pull the steering column toward
8i. and houses a steering shaft 82 and a shift tube 83.
its normal driving position. if the transmission selector
Following conventional practice, the shift tube 83 is con
lever is in t e “park” position, the engine may be started
centric with the steering shaft and the steering column.
regardless of the position of the steering column.
A ?nger element 34 is welded or otherwise securely
Referring to FIG. 6-, the circuit for the above opera 15 fastened to the outer surface of the shift tube 83. The
tion runs from the closed ignition switch 75 through the
?nner element 34 has an upstanding arm portion 85
transmission position switch 76 to the ignition coil ‘77
adapted to project through a peripheral slot 86 in the
without passing through the column position switch 72.
steering column tube ill.
The starter relay switch 73‘ is closed when the transmis
The steering column 81 is diagrammatically illustrated
sion selector lever 21 is in “park” position, indicated by 20 as being supported by a guide track 87, the upper sur
“P” on the circuit diagram, permitting the starter to be
face of which is slidably engaged by a ?anged bracket
energized. if at any time the transmission selector lever
88 secured to the steering column. The guide track 87
21 is moved out of “park” position before the steering
and the ?ange S9 of the bracket 88 are provided with
column 32 is placed in the normal driving position, the
elongated slots 91 and 92. The slots 91 and 92 are
engine will be stopped by the openin<y of the transmission 25 adapted to overlie each other in alignment in normal op
position switch '76, which is in the ignition circuit. This
erative position’ of the steering wheel. The upstanding
condition of the selector lever 21 having to remain in
arm 85 of the ?nger element 84 is provided with a for
“park” position to start the engine, or once the engine
wardly extending flange 93 terminating in a laterally
extending ?nger
As is best seen in FIG. 8, the ?nger
is started to have the engine remain running when the
column 12 is not in its normal driving position, is true 30 94 is curved to follow a true radial path about the center
of the steering shaft 8.2.
throughout any sequence of operation.
Four positions of the ?nger element 84 are illustrated.
Having started the engine with the column 12 in or
it may be assumed that the solid outline position indi
out of driving position and the transmission selector lever
21 in “park” position, the column 12, when swung from
cates that the transmission of the vehicle is in “park”
an out of driving position into driving position, closes 35 position. The three dot and dash outline positions rep
column position switch 72. The column locking solenoid
resent other selector lever positions which may include
68 is energized and the column locked into the driving
neutral, drive, reverse or any combination thereof. The
important feature is that except in any position other
position when the transmission selector lever 21 is moved
than the “P” (park) position the extreme end 95 of the
from the “park” position. As was explained above,
this locking action is created by the movement of the 4-0 ?nger 94 projects through the aligned apertures 91 and
92 preventing the steering column from being shifted out
locking bar 69 of the solenoid 68 into position between
of its normal operative position. The only time that
the locking pawl and the channel member 65,. Since
the steering column can be shifted out of its normal op
the movement of this locking bar takes place immediately
erative position is when the ?nger 94 is rotated to its
upon the transmission selector being moved from the
“park” position, this assures that the column is locked 45 extreme counterclockwise position, the solid outline po~
sition shown in FIG. 8, which corresponds to the “P”
in position prior to moving the vehicle. Upon stopping
(park) position of the transmission selector lever.
the car, the operator may either put t e transmission se
Should the steering column be moved while the selector
lector lever 21 in “park” position, thus releasing the col
lever is in the “P” (park) position, it will be readily ap
umn 12, or turn off the ignition switch '75 which will also
release the column. The column can then be swung out 50 parent that the slots 91 and 92 will be offset relative to
one another. The end 95 of the ?nger 94 will not be
of driving position and greater room for egress of the
able to move through the track 87 preventing movement
driver obtained.
of the transmission selector lever to a position in which
One feature of the above-described circuit is that the
movement of the vehicle could result.
driver is able to get in and out of the vehicle with the
The foregoing may be explained with reference to the
engine running as he would want to do when opening or 55
operation of the mechanism by the vehicle driver as he
closing his garage doors. In other words, as long as the
transmission selector lever 21 is in the “park” position,
the steering column can be shifted to its inboard position
without interrupting the ivnition circuit.
However,
leaves the vehicle. In order to shift the steering column
inboard he must ?rst put the selector lever in the “P”
(park) position. This rotates the ?nger 94 out of the
should any attempt be made to shift the transmission 60 slot 92 in the track 87. When this is done, the column
31 can be moved inboard, and the resulting movement
selector lever to a position other than “park” position,
of the column carries the ?nger 94 away from the slot
the engine would be stalled. The desirability of this fea
Q22 in the track. Since no slot 92 exists in the track un
ture as a safety provision will be readily apparent.
der the ?nger in any other location other than the “P”
Referring now to PlGS. 7 and 8, there is illustrated a
second embodiment of the present invention in which the 65 (park) position, when the column is out of the driving
position the finger is stopped from rotation by the track,
interlock relating steering column position to control of
thus precluding the transmission selector lever from be
the transmission is accomplished by mechanical means.
The mechanical means illustrated can only be utilized
with a construction and arrangement in which the trans
ing moved from the “P” (park) position.
Upon the vehicle operator entering the vehicle and as
mission selector lever is mounted on the steering column, 70 sumes his normal driving position in the operator’s seat,
as in many conventional installations. FIGS. 7 and 8
he must ?rst pull the steering column 81 back to its nor
are semidiagrammatic in form but are believed to clearly
mal driving position to align the slots 91 and 92 and
illustrate the principle of the invention.
thus the end of the ?nger $4 with the slot 92 in the
The construction and arrangement of the present em
bodiment is designed to accomplish the following:
i
track. When this is done, the transmission selector lever
75 can be rotated out of the “P”'(p‘ark') " position, causing
act/‘aces
8
the ?nger 94 to drop through the slot 92 in the track.
tion when said steering column‘is displaced from its nor
Since the ?nger 94 remains in the slot 92 in the track
mal operating position.
87 in any transmission selector position except “P” (park),
the ?nger element is effective to hold the column station
means, drive wheels, and selector means controlling said
ary.
transmission means, said selector means including an
transmission of power from said engine through said
carried by said column slidably engaged with said guide
5. In a motor vehicle having an engine, transmission
operating member having at least one position indicating
It will be understood that the invention is not to be
said transmission means is in a nonpower transmitting
limited to the exact construction shown and described,
condition, a support structure, a steering column, said
but that various changes and modi?cations may be made
selector member being mounted on said steering column,
without departing from the spirit and scope of the inven
tion, as defined in the appended claims.
10 means supporting said steering column for swinging move
ment from a normal operative position to a displaced
1 claim:
position, said support means comprising guide means
1. In a motor vehicle having an engine, transmission
carried by said support structure and follower means
means, drive wheels, and selector means controlling the
transmission means to said drive wheels, said selector 15 means, latch means having a part thereof positionable
to hold said follower means immovable relative to said
means having at least one position indicating that said
guide means, and thereby said steering column immovable
transmission means is in a non-power transmitting condi
relative to said support structure, said follower means
tion, a support structure, a steering column, means sup
and guide means having portions thereof positionable in
porting said steering column on said support structure for
swinging movement from a normal operative position to a 20 alignment to receive said latch means part only when said
displaced position, and means correlating the position of
steering column is in its normal operative position, said
transmission of power from said engine through said
operating member having at least one position indicating
operating member having at least one position indicating
erating member having at least one position indicating
condition, a support structure, a steering column, means
supporting said steering column for swinging movement
latch means part blocking movement of said selector lever
said selector means and said steering column to prevent
from said one position when said steering column is dis
said transmission from transmitting power from said
placed from its normal operating position.
engine to said drive Wheels when said steering column is
6. In a motor vehicle having an engine, transmission
25
in a displaced position.
means, drive wheels, and selector means controlling said
2. In a motor vehicle having an engine, transmission
transmission means, said selector means including an
means, drive wheels, and selector means controlling the
said transmission means is in a nonpower transmitting
transmission means to said drive wheels, said selector
means having at least one position providing nonpower 30 condition, a support structure, a steering column, means
supporting said steering column for swinging movement
transmitting operation of said transmission means, a sup
from a normal operative position to a displaced position,
port structure, a steering column, means supporting said
said support means comprising guide means carried by
steering column on said support structure for swinging
said column slidably engaged with said guide means, latch
movement from a normal operative position to a dis
means carried on said guide means positionable to hold
placed position, latch means coupled to said selector
said follower means immovable relative to said guide
means and constructed and arranged to hold said steering
means, solenoid operated means operable to block un—
column when in its normal operating position against
latching movement of said latch means, and an electrical
movement to said displaced position in all positions of
interlock circuit operative except in said one selector
said selector means other than said nonpower trans
40 means position to energize said solenoid means.
mitting indicating position.
7. In a motor vehicle having an engine, transmission
3. In a motor vehicle having an engine, transmission
means, drive wheels, and selector means controlling said
means, drive wheels, and selector means controlling said
transmission means, said selector means including an op
transmission means, said selector means including an
said transmission means is in a nonpower transmitting 45 said transmission means is in a nonpower transmitting
supporting said steering column for swinging movement
from a normal operative position to a
said support means comprising guide
said support structure and follower
said column slidably engaged with said
displaced position,
means carried by
means carried by
guide means, latch
condition, a support structure, a steering column, means
from a normal operative position to a displaced position,
said support means comprising guide means carried by
said support structure and follower means carried by said
column slidably engaged with said guide means, latch
means coupled to said selector member constructed and
means carried on said guide means positionable to hold
selector member is in said one position.
4-. In a motor vehicle having an engine, transmission
means, drive wheels, and selector means controlling said
means position to energize said solenoid means, said elec
trical interlock circuit including a limit switch positioned
to signal placement of said steering column in its normal
said follower means immovable relative to said guide
arranged to hold said steering column immovable rela
means, solenoid operated means operable to block un
tive to said guide means in said normal operative posi
latching
movement of said latch means, and an electrical
55
tion, said latch means being inoperative only when said
interlock circuit operative except in said one selector
transmission means, said selector means including an
operating member having at least one position indicating 60 operative position.
said transmission means is in a nonpower transmitting
condition, a support structure, a steering column, means
supporting said steering column for swinging movement
7
8. In a motor vehicle having an engine, transmission
means, drive wheels, and selector means controlling said
transmission means, said selector means including an
operating member having a least one position indicating
from a normal operative position to a displaced position, 65 said transmssion means is in a nonpower transmitting con
said support means comprising guide means carried by
dition, a support structure, a steering column, means sup
said support structure and follower means carried by
porting said steering column for swinging movement from
said column slidably engaged with said guide means, latch
a normal operative position to a displaced position, said
means having a part thereof positionable to hold said
support means comprising guide means carried by said
follower means immovable relative to said guide means, 70 support structure and follower means carried by said
column slidably engaged with said guide means, latch
said follower means and guide means having portions
means carried on said guide means positionable to hold
thereof positionable in alignment to receive said latch
said follower means immovable relative to said guide
means part only when said steering column is in its
means, said follower means and guide means having por
normal operative position, said latch means part block
tions thereof positionable in alignment to receive a part
ing movement of said selector lever from said one posi
y»
3,078,945
10
of said latch device only when said steering column is
in its normal operative position, solenoid operated means
provided with a blocking member positionable to block
withdrawal of said latch part from said aligned portions,
and an electrical interlock circuit operative except in
placed position, and means correlating the position of
said one position of said selector means to energize said
solenoid means to position said blocking member in block
12. In a motor vehicle having an engine, transmission
said selector means and said steering column to prevent
said transmission from transmitting power from said en
gine to said drive wheels when said steering column is
in a displaced position.
means, drive wheels, and selector means controlling the
ing position.
transmission of power from said engine through said
9. In a motor vehicle having an engine, transmission
transmission means to said drive wheels, said selector
means, drive wheels, and selector means controlling said 10 means having at least one position providing nonpower
transmission means, said selector means including an op
transmitting operation of said transmission means, a sup—
erating member having at least one position indicating
port structure, a steering column, means supporting said
said transmission means is in a nonpower transmitting
steering column on said support structure for movement
from a normal operative position to a displaced position,
condition, a support structure, a steering column, means
supporting said steering column for swinging movement 15 latch means coupled to said selector means and constructed
from a normal operative position to a displaced position,
said support means comprising guide means carried by
said support structure and follower means carried by said
position in all positions of said selector means other
column slidably engaged with said guide means, latch
than said nonpower transmitting indicating position.
means carried on said guide means positionable to hold 20
13. In a motor vehicle having propulsion means, trans
mission means, driving wheels, a steering column and con
trol means for operating said vehicle, a support structure,
means supporting said steering column on said support
structure for movement from a normal operative posi
said follower means immovable relative to said guide
means, said follower means and guide means having por
tions thereof positionable in alignment to receive a part
and arranged to hold said steering column in its normal
operating position against movement to said displaced
of said latch device only when said steering column is
in its normal operative position, solenoid operated means 25 tion to a displaced position, latch means operative to re
leasably retain said steering column in its normal operative
provided with a blocking member positionable to block
position, and means actuating said latch means in response
withdrawal of said latch part from said aligned portions,
to operation of said control means.
and an electrical interlock circuit operative except in
14. In a motor vehicle having propulsion means, trans
said one position of said selector means to energize said
solenoid means to position said blocking member in block 30 mission means, driving wheels, a steering column and con
trol means for operating said vehicle, a support structure,
ing position, said electrical interlock circuit including a
means supporting said steering column on said support
limit switch carried by said guide means adapted to be
structure for movement from a normal operative position
abutted by said follower means to signal placement of
to a displaced position, latch means operative to releasably
said steering column in its normal operative position.
10. In a motor vehicle having propulsion means, trans 35 retain said steering column in one of said positions, and
means for moving said latch means between its latched
mission means, driving wheels, a steering column and con
and unlatched position in response to operation of said
trol means for operating said vehicle, a support structure,
control means.
means supporting said steering column on said support
structure for swinging movement about an inclined axis
References Cited in the ?le of this patent
from a normal operative position to a displaced position,
latch means operative to releasably retain said steering
UNITED STATES PATENTS
column in its normal operative position, and means actuat
627,201
Paget ________________ .._ June 20, 1899
ing said latch means in response to operation of said
805,944
Clark ________________ __ Nov. 28, 1905
control means.
11. In a motor vehicle having an engine, transmission 45
means, drive wheels, and selector means controlling the
transmission of power from said engine through said
transmission means to said drive wheels, said selector
means having at least one position indicating that said
transmission means is in a nonpower transmitting con 50
dition, a support structure, a steering column, means sup
porting said steering column on said support structure
for movement from a normal operative position to a dis
917,684
Van Nort ____________ __ Apr. 6, 1909
1,288,906
Jensen ______________ .__. Dec. 24, 1918
1,427,212
2,248,747
Keller ______________ .__ Aug. 29, 1922
Dick ________________ __ July 8, 1941
2,436,153
Sanmori ______________ __ Feb. 17, 1948
2,841,411
Sheppard et a1. ________ __ July 1, 1958
737,959
Great Britain __________ _... Oct. 5, 1955
FOREIGN PATENTS
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